State's Evidence - Stephen Greenleaf Many people have compare Greenleaf to Ross MacDonald and I can see why. There is the same undercurrent of corruption and complicated familial relationships suffering from events that occurred many years before. Greenleaf has been much under-appreciated and that's a shame. I recently ordered a bunch of his Tanner novels and will be vegging out on them over the next few days.

In this one Tanner is asked by the Deputy DA Tolson of El Gordo to help find a missing witness. Mrs. Blair reportedly had seen a local thug hit-and-run a pedestrian. Tolson wants to put this guy away. Teresa Blair has disappeared, even while being under police protection. For his own reasons her husband, James, also wants her found. The local Chief of Detectives, Grinder, has his own reasons for wanting Tanner to report to him instead of Tolson and a neighbor , Kathie, fears for Teresa's life thinking James wanted to do her harm. Then there is Wayne, the neighbor's husband, who, having found religion had been booted out of the house, but is stalking his son. And we won't even mention the feds who have their own interest in not wanting Tanner's involvement.

Everything comes together in an ending I just didn't see coming.

It's pretty hard not to like a book that indulges in the use of words like crepuscular and preterlogical and has paragraphs like this one: "I started to say something, then stopped. Fluto had built a life out of that warped rationalization of benevolence and it would take a better sophist than I to knock it out of him. That’s why people like Fluto are both dangerous and ineradicable. They become criminals not out of need or desperation but out of conviction, out of a premeditated, preterlogical, almost genetic determination that crime is the only honorable mode of existence, the only way to retaliate against a government and a society they assume to be alien and oppressive. The mob rises out of that psychology, but Christianity and Nazism have their roots in alienation, too. Doctrine and ritual are the sanctuaries of the outcast, and I had encountered a lot of proof of that in this case."